The older you get, the more your skin is going to tend towards hyperpigmentation. Have you ever noticed that Sr. Citizens look a little darker than they they did in younger pictures? Well…the reason is simply because older skin is naturally more pigmented because of long-term exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun.
Hyperpigmentation is the medical term for when excess melanin is produced in your body, and though it usually shows over your entire body as you age, it can also show up in smaller places like in spots on your neck, face, and other parts of your body. Those spots are called age spots or liver spots.(1)
This article is designed to show you how to get rid of age spots on your face and body and how to brighten your skin in general. Let’s start off by talking about the chemicals that people use to brighten their skin and why they work. You can use this as a guide for what will work best for your skin.
Hydroquinone Is Among The More Popular Skin Lighteners In The Beauty Marketplace
Unless you’ve been vigilant about protecting your skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen every time you go out into the sun over the course of your entire life, you will likely have skin darkening and see at least one age spot as you get older. Skin darkening is a common occurrence to the point that it is an expected thing, whether you are a man or a woman.
Because of its popularity, many skincare companies use hydroquinone in their products. Hydroquinone is a bleaching ingredient that works in two ways. It both inhibits melanin production in the skin, and it also lightens the darker pigmentation that is already there.
The challenge with hydroquinone is that it isn’t a gentle treatment and it might create greater skin sensitivity in skin that is already sensitive due to age. So…if you can’t use hydroquinone, what can you use?
Natural Skin Brighteners Can Be Effectively Used Against Age Spots
Some of your age spots might look like cancerous growths or flat moles when they are not. Be sure to get them looked at by a dermatologist to ensure that it’s nothing more than extra melanin.
Many people want to get them surgically removed, but that is not usually necessary unless you are very concerned with how perfect your skin looks. Some people feel age spots add character to their appearance, and they don’t mind fading them slowly over time.
If you want to lighten your age spots naturally, you can do it by applying the juice of an organic lemon to your skin. Lemon contains citric acid, which both lightens and removes age spots. You can use pure lemon juice on cotton balls, applied to your skin, externally. You can also mix it with honey to cut back on some of its astringent qualities.
The good thing about lemon juice is that you can also drink it with water first thing in the morning to take care of your skin from the inside out. This will flush your body of toxins and make your skin more clear over time.
Be careful when using lemon juice for age spots that you have rinsed it completely off of your face before you go outside. The citric acid can leave your skin really sensitive to sunlight and make matters worse. Also be sure to apply sunscreen afterwards.
You can also use Apple Cider Vinegar (or ACV as it is commonly known) as a natural treatment. ACV acts as a natural alpha hydroxy acid and skin peel. You can apply ACV directly to your skin using cotton swabs, but you’ll want to rinse it off in under a minute. ACV is very strong, and it can be drying!
If it’s too strong either dilute it with water or use it with honey, just like you did with the lemon juice. Just like lemon juice, be sure to rinse it from your skin entirely after using it because it can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Neither lemon juice or apple cider vinegar are going to work for you overnight, but you will start to notice the skin lightening effects inside of seven days. I’d say to give it a good month before you really notice the benefits.
Now, If You Really Want To Remove Age Marks, You’ll Have To Have Surgery
Though there are people who have gotten rid of their age marks using the natural and cosmetic beauty treatments we’ve shared with you today, some people don’t want to be that diligent or consistent for months at a time. As a last resort, surgical removal of hyperpigmentation is often the way.
The type of surgeries range from professional dermabrasion to laser surgery. With both, your skin is going to be sensitive after treatment, and you might end up with a small scar…but at least the the dark spots will be removed.(1) Because of the chance of scarring, many people opt for using the natural or commercial beauty treatments since there is less risk of permanently damaging your skin using them.
Ultimately, the only way to get rid of age spots on your face and your body is to pick one of these remedies and stick with it until you see results. Probably the biggest challenge for people is to just keep doing whatever is working.
Everyone is different, so pay careful attention to whether or not you skin can handle the treatment you choose, and don’t be so dogmatic that you keep going if you can see that your skin is too sensitive for your method of lightening and removing age spots.
- “Age Spots.” The Mayo Clinic Staff. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/age-spots/basics/definition/con-20030473. Apr. 10, 2014.
- “Get Rid Of Age Spots On Face, Legs, Arms, Back, Hands.” Natural Beauty Tips. http://naturalbeautytips.co/get-rid-of-age-spots-on-face-legs-arms-back/. May 27, 2015.